Taylor Swift’s Album ‘1989’ Originally Sampled This No. 1 Hit from 1989

It’s obvious from its title that Taylor Swift’s album 1989 takes influence from the music of 1989, however, it’s less obvious Swift drew inspiration from a specific No. 1 from that year. Swift’s decision to sample the track comes from an interesting experience she had with Jack Antonoff. Here’s what the producer of the band Swift sampled had to say about her — and how Swift’s career crossed paths with the band’s.

Taylor Swift holding three awards
Taylor Swift | Charley Gallay/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The story of a classic No. 1 hit from 1989

1989 was an interesting time for music. Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 ruled the charts, Madonna became more controversial than ever with her “Like a Prayer” video, and Prince proved Batman could be funky. At the same time, a little band from England had their most successful year yet.

According to AllMusic, Fine Young Cannibals released their hit “She Drives Me Crazy” in 1988. Back then, songs almost always took some time to reach their chart peak. “She Drives Me Crazy” topped the Billboard Hot 100 on April 15, 1989 and became a classic of new wave music.

“She Drives Me Crazy”

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How Fine Young Cannibals’ ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ changed Taylor Swift’s career

The song’s relevance didn’t end there. Swift started working with Antonoff entirely because of that song.

“The moment when we shifted from friendship into working together was when we were talking about the snare drum on Fine Young Cannibals’ ‘She Drives Me Crazy,’” Antonoff told Rolling Stone. “Taylor brought it up first, and I was like, ‘Holy shit, you’re not going to believe this: I just sampled that snare in a track.’ I played her one second of it on my iPhone, and she was like, ‘Send me that track.’ That became a song called ‘I Wish You Would.’”

“I Wish You Would”

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Swift praised “She Drives Like Crazy,” saying it should still be on the radio because it’s timeless. Although the song clearly inspired “I Wish You Would,” the final version of the song doesn’t contain the sample. Interestingly, “I Wish You Would” didn’t become one of 1989’s singles. Swift missed out on the chance to introduce “She Drives Me Crazy” — or at least elements of it — to a new generation. Regardless, “She Drives Me Crazy” changed her career, as it convinced her to work with Antonoff, who produced 1989 and all her subsequent studio albums.

What the producer of ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ said about Taylor Swift

David Z, the producer behind “She Drives Me Crazy,” commented on Swift’s words. “I remember reading an article about Taylor Swift,” Steele told Billboard. “And she said how she wanted to do a song like ‘She Drives Me Crazy.’ She said, ‘I really think ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ could be on the radio now. It’s that timeless.’ I thought it was odd at first coming from Taylor Swift, but it was really cool. It seems like Fine Young Cannibals got underneath everybody and they’re still there.”

Fine Young Cannibals near a table
Fine Young Cannibals | Terry Smith/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

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This wasn’t the end of the connection between Swift and Fine Young Cannibals. According to Teen Vogue, Fine Young Cannibals served as Swift’s opening act at one point during The 1989 World Tour. Swift drew influence from Fine Young Cannibals — and Swift returned the favor.